Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Booth Angst

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted. Truth be told, I probably did have the time. Just not the words to express anything of import--or interest! But, what has been raging through my crazy artist brain is this: I don't like how my booth looks! Don't get me wrong. I still like my work. Just not the way it looks on the walls of my display set-up. When I first started I had many seasoned artists tell me that I was hanging too much work. That I was making the decision-making too difficult for potential customers. But, I was selling well--still sending poor Rees back and forth to the extra inventory so people could look through everything. So, I didn't change anything. Nothing at all. But I started liking my display less and less.

What had changed was my work. About 3 years ago I found a combination of fixative and acrylic varnish that worked with the oil pastels so I wouldn't have to use glass on all my pieces. Hoorah!!!!! However, I haven't stopped working on paper--truth is--I love working on paper. And so my booth has become a bit of a mixture of the 2--panels and works behind glass with white mats. It wasn't until this last weekend at the Laumeier Art Fair in ST Louis, where I was positioned with my tent and booth under the big top--making things very dark, that I figured out part of the problem. Without the white mats and light frames, the whole booth looked darker. I rearranged and put pieces with mats and glass near the front and it improved the overall look. Not perfect--but an improvement. And, since my summer schedule is a very busy one, I probably won't be able to do much more than tweak the overall look. But, I think it is an important project to consider for the fall. How do I display enough to give my customers a choice but not make it look like a flea market display? Do I reduce the number of sizes? Do I stick to either/or? (works on paper vs. works on panel) Do I display only a few pieces of each size? Do I replace my walls with a lighter color? I'm not sure. But, I promise I will do some thinkin' on it. Whether any changes get translated into a new booth design sooner or later remains to be seen. Comments, ideas always accepted. And, I can take the criticism--if that is what you have!


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  2. Yes, that's a tough one. I've thought about replacing my dark walls too. My booth always looks dark since I don't use mats and use non-glare glass. Lights are key and you have the right ones! I also like how you opened the back corner wall to get light in the rear of the booth. Your customers love you for you and your work for your work - they don't always see the booth the way you are seeing it. As for giving your customers a wide range of choices, Larry always says, "Less in not more. More is more." But hey, what do jewelers know? :-) I think the proof is in the pudding. And you've got a lot of pudding!

  3. Meredith- thanks for the comments. I really wish I could solve this issue but it makes me feel good knowing there are others in the same boat. Still the idea of a gallery sleek booth set up is a nice thought/dream.

  4. Jen, I seriously love the vertical series...


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